Making Christmas

Here’s the thing with me and Pinterest: I enjoy the eye-candy and “Ooh” and “Ahhh” over people’s ideas, fashion, creations, and wit when I browse., but I’m not a good Pinterest person because I’m not artistic, and I don’t have the personality type, patience, or budget to care about details when it comes to crafts. I cut corners, don’t buy all the materials, haphazardly measure, or even if I try my very hardest, my creations come up short, ugly, and unlike the pictured product. I’m okay with this reality. I prefer to create with words more than paint, ribbon, or glue, and live a full life just appreciating the creations of others instead of seeking to make greatness myself.

And yet, I do still try to craft and create on my own- sometimes because I want to and other times because I have to.

This Christmas, we have drawn one name with my extended family and have the parameter of making a homemade gift for that person. It sounded wonderful in September when we drew names and even now, I love and support the idea. We are going to be together in the mountains in Colorado over Christmas and the greatest gift we’re giving each other is time together. The crafted gift is just a chance to show and tell one person what we enjoy and appreciate about them uniquely. I really do love the idea. I do however, feel like instead of just drawing one name, I’ve drawn 5. Oakley has someone’s name and so far he has not told me what he intends to create nor offered to run the errands for supplies. My other two kids have been involved in the creation of their gifts which sometimes is really helpful and other times adds 5 steps and extra clean up.

This weekend, I let the mental and creative stress of the ideas, shopping, and creation of these heartfelt homemade gifts absolutely stress me out. I ended up grumpy and felt like family-crafted-Christmas might not be very fun after all.

Obviously, I was letting stress, anxiety, and lists steal my Christmas joy, peace, love and expectation. What is meant to be a precious, powerful, albeit crowded and chaotic family time together in the mountains, (24 people in a house that sleeps 18), should not be consumed by doubt, worry and doom over my (un)crafty gifts.

Just this morning I realized the bottom line…while wiping Oakley’s bottom in fact. I was in the bathroom wetting a wipe when I looked to the wall with the clock to see what time it was. Instead of our yellow bathroom wall clock however, now hangs this sign:

I took down the clock on decorating day and hung the joy sign.

This morning I realized it didn’t matter what time it was, how much time was left before Oakley needed a nap, how much time before my coffee pot went cold, or how many minutes of morning productivity were ticking away. What mattered was that I choose joy.

Joy in the midst of whatever the circumstance, craft, cookie, or child. Joy over and against angst. Joy, not jealousy. Joy instead of being overwhelmed or stressed out. Joy because I have so much to be thankful for, so much to look forward to, so much right in front of me.

Hopefully, this week, instead of measuring time and glitter, I will scoop out, settle into, and share JOY.

PS- To come full circle, that sign is actually a “create your own” Christmas craft that I never did anything to- it’s supposed to be painted or something…I like it white, and so it stays, simple and untouched.  photo (22)

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